House passes tougher greenhouse gas emissions targets

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state would set more aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under a bill that passed the House.

After lengthy heated debate, the House passed the measure Wednesday night on a 50-48 vote, along party lines. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

The measure calls for deeper cuts to greenhouse gas emissions than what the Legislature set in 2008.

By 2025, the state would reduce emissions to 19 percent below 1990 levels while aiming for 21 percent. By 2035, the state would reduce emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels. By 2050, the state will reduce emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels.

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, a Seattle Democrat and bill sponsor, and other supporters say the measure will reduce emissions to safe levels and do what’s responsible for the next generation.

Many Republicans spoke in opposition to House Bill 1144, saying the bill doesn’t consider impacts to families, the economy and jobs.